It was the last day at school – end of second term of my final year. We were all sitted in the school auditorium waiting for the principal to address us when my friend Emeka walked up to me.
Ever since Ukadi manhandled him and cautioned him not to have anything to do with his wife, he had kept his distance. Nevertheless, I told him that there was nothing to be afraid of since he was my friend, not my lover.
“My father is disturbed.” I began to tell him about the issue at hand.
“The amount of money is huge. How could a subsistent farmer pay such in a limited time? It’s not possible. If I were your father, I wouldn’t accept to pay him.”
“You know, my kingsmen told him to do so or face ostracism.”
“That’s absurd. I don’t know why our people pay so much attention to whatever the elders say. How could they ostracise a man for not paying a debt? I think Ukadi bought them over.”
“Your thought coundn’t be wrong. I think so too.” I said as Our principal Mrs. Okoli walked in with all the teachers, smiling as if the entire world belonged to her. We stood up to welcome her.
Her hair-do looked funnier than the previous ones – left flying in all directions and the students couldn’t control their outburst of laughter. Whoever did her hair must be a clown. Could be she made it herself for the occasion. We had always wondered if there was anything like a mirror in her house. Her make up didn’t look well too. Her face often looked like a careless painter’s board.
But funny thing about Mrs Okoli was that, she didn’t care. She didn’t care if anyone liked what she did with her body or not. She didn’t are if anyone laughed at her. She had always laughed with the students while they laughed at her.
“Good afternoon, students.” She greeted
“Good afternoon, Madam.”
“I’m happy that the term has come to an end and I know that you all are excited to go on your holiday which is unfortunately, very short even shorter for the final year students. They will be resuming next week Thursday by the way.” There was a strong opposition from the final year students.
“If you like shout from today until your last day on earth, you have no option than to resume as planned. Your mock exam will start on the day you’ll resume. If you like, come, if you don’t like, stay in your fathers house and play your head off. Of course you know that without mock result, you won’t be seeing your SSCE results.” She continued with all the announcements amidst the murmuring of the students
I was far gone in thought when my form teacher started the closing prayers and had to force myself to join in the prayers. I didn’t like the change in plans. I wanted to travel to Lagos for my two weeks holiday. It meant I won’t be going anymore. What could be more disappointing than that?
As I was walking to the gate, I saw him again. The man who followed me home one one day and got scared away by my mother. He was standing at the school gate waiting.
I was trying to remember his name when he smiled and walked up to us. His car looked even flashier than I first saw it.
He collected my heavy bag and that of my friend, Emeka and took them to the boot.
I didn’t resist. I wanted to start a relationship with a man to pass a serious message to Ukadi. I hoped for a safe relationship. A serious but sex free relationship.
“I forgot your name.” I said boldly and he smiled and looked out of the window.
“That’s what happens when you don’t want to have anything to do with someone.” He said as he started the car and everyone worked at the seatbelts. “I remember yours because I couldn’t get my mind off you.” He said as he pulled the car out of the school.
“I pray your mother goes out before we reach your home.”
“Are you that fearful?”
“No. I only respect mother’s boundaries.”
“Once more my name is Dozie.”
“You told me you were staying in Malaysia. You haven’t gone back up till now?”
“I’m building a house in the town and I need to be around to make sure it’s going well. I planned staying for three months during which I plan to get a wife. Man is not getting any younger you know.”
“That’s good. I hope you find a good girl.”
“I hope so.” He said and sped off.
My friend dropped off at the junction leading to my house. Lo and behold, as my friend was walking away and Dozie was about to open the door, my mother was returning from the market. I told Dozie to speed up so that my mother won’t see us. But I saw Emeka standing with my mother pointing at us and my mother looking in our direction as the car sped off.
To be continued……
© Florence Ezekafor